(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Ballads"

LIBRARY 

UN1VCIIS4TY OF 
CALIFORNIA 



^ 
^ 



^ ^ 



^ 

^ 










^ ^ <, !i ^ „- 







^H ,J ^ * ^^^\,,V 




"^ V f >' 




^«Nk^> 



^ H^) 



¥ 



BALLADS. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/balladsbOOedwarich 



CAu>av^^S i4rY\eli^^ni^ Dlotl^dyci 



BALLADS. 



AUTHOR OF "BARBARA'S HISTORY." 



*' Ballad : A meaner kind of popular song." 

Webiiei'*B Didionxiry. 



LONDON : 
TINSLEY BROTHEKS, 18, CATHERINE ST., STRAND. 

1865. 

[7%c Right of Tratislatimi is reserved.'] 



LONDON : 
BRADBURY AND EVANS, PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS. 



LOAN STACK 



?53 
MX 



TO 



MY MOST BELOVED FRIEND, 

ELLEN BRAYSHER. 



The little Ballads here gathered together were 
nearly all written for music. Perhaps I scarcely 
knew till now how much of their melody they owed 
to the composers who set them, or how much of 
their meaning to the sweet voices that sang them. 
In their present form, however, they are too effec- 
tually disenchanted to leave me in any doubt as to 
the slendemess of those intrinsic merits upon which 
my rhymes must now stand. 

A^IELIA B. EDWARDS. 



t 



CONTENTS. 



PAOK 

heliqui^ 11 

LONELY 14 

SERENADE 17 

DESERTED 19 

WILD BELLS 22 

THOSE OTHER TIMES 24 

EURYDICE 26 

ANOTHER SERENADE 30 

MARGUERITE 32 

LONG AGO 35 

THE RHINE-MAIDEN 39 

WINTER SONG 42 

TO 44 

MANY A TIME AND OFT 47 

TO ZULEIKA 49 

TO HASSAN 52 

TORRENT SONG 54 



X CONTENTS. 

PAGE 
A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT 56 

OLD MEMORIES 69 

FOR EVER 71 

THE STUDENT 73 

RETROSPECTIVE 76 

JOAN OF ARC 78 

PARTING 81 

IMPORTUNITY . . ' t, . . ... , . 84 

TO A YOUNG BRIDE 87 

THE LEGEND OF THE BELL . . . . . . 89 

TRANSLATIONS : — 

THE LEAF AND THE BREEZE . . . .109 

FLOWER AND BUD Ill 

CRUEL SPRINGTIME 113 

NOTES : — 

THE LEGEND OF THE BELL 121 

THE LEAF AND THE BREEZE . . . .123 



RELIQUIiE. 



A WILD, wet night ! The driving sleet 
Blurs all the lamps along the quay ; 
The windows shake ; the busy street 
Is yet alive with hurrying feet ; 
The wind raves from the sea 1 

So let it rave ! My lamp bums bright ; 
My long day's work is almost done ; 



12 RELIQUI^. 

I curtain out each sound and sight — 
Of all nights in the year, to-night 
I choose to be alone. 

Alone, with doors and windows fast, 

Before my open desk I stand .... 
Alas ! can twelve long months be past, 
My hidden, hidden wealth, since last 
I held thee in my hand ? 

So, there it lies ! From year to year 
I see the ribbon change ; the page 
Turn yellower ; and the very tear 
That blots the writing, disappear 
And fade away with age ! 



reliquij:. 13 

Mine eyes grow dim when they behold 
The precious trifles hoarded there — 

A ring of batter'd Indian gold, 

A withered harebell, and a fold 
Of sunny chesnut hair ! 

Not all the riches of the earth, 

Not all the treasures of the sea, 
Could buy these house-gods from my hearth ; 
And yet, the secret of their worth 

Must live and die with me. 



B 2 



LONELY. 



Sitting lonely, ever lonely, 
Waiting, waiting for one only. 

Thus I mourn the weary moments passing by ;. 
And the heavy evening gloom 
Gathers slowly in the room, 

And the chill November darkness dims the sky. 
Now the countless busy feet 
Cross each other in the street. 



LONELY. 15 

And I watch the faces flitting past my door ; 
But the step that linger d nightly, 
And the hand that rapp'd so lightly, 
And the eyes that beam'd so brightly, 
Come no more ! 

By the firelight's fitful gleaming 
I am dreaming, ever dreaming, 

And the rain is slowly falling all around ; 
And voices that are nearest, 
Of friends the best and dearest, 

Appear to have a strange and distant sound. 
Now the weary wind is sighing. 
And the murky day is dying, 

And the withered leaves lie scattered round my door ; 



16 LONELY. 

But that voice whose whisper'd greeting 
Set this heart so wildly beating 
At each fond and frequent meeting, 
Comes no more 1 



SERENADE. 



The winds are all hush'd and the moon is high, 

Like a queen on her silver throne. 
Tranquil and dusk the woodlands lie ; 
Scarcely a cloud sails over the sky ; 
None are awake save the stars and I — 
Sleepest thou still, mine own ? 

The song of the nightingale stirs the air, 
And the breath of the briar is blown. 



18 SERENADE. 

Come forth in thy beauty beyond compare ! 
I'll clasp thee close, and 111 call thee fair ; 
And I'll kiss off the dew from thy golden hair- 
Sleepest thou still, mine own ? 



DESERTED. 

The river flow'd past with the light on its breast, 

And the weeds went eddying by, 
And the round red sun sank down in the West 
When my love's loving lips to my lips were prest, 
Under the evening sky. 

Now weeping alone by the river I stray, 
For my love he has left me this many a day. 
Left me to droop and die ! 



20 DESERTED. 

As the river flow'd then, the river flows still, 

In ripple, and foam, and spray, 
On by the church, and round by the hill, 
And under the sluice of the old burnt mill, 
And out to the fading day. 

But I love it no more, for delight grows cold 

When the song is sung, and the tale is told, 

And the heart is giv n away ! 



Oh, river, run far ! Oh, river, run fast I 

Oh, weeds, float out to the sea I 
For the sun has gone down on my beautiful past, 
And the hopes that like bread on the waters I cast 

Have drifted away like thee ! 



DESERTED. 21 



So the dream it is fled, and the day it is done. 
And my lips still murmur the name of one 
Who will never come back to me ! 



WILD BELLS. 



I MET her in the quiet lane 

One Sabbath morning early ; 
The sun was bright, although the rain 

Still glitter d on the barley. 
The lark was singing to his mate ; 

The wild bells chimed their warning ; 
We paused awhile outside the gate — 
We linger'd till it was too late 

To go to church that morning ! 



WILD BELLS. 23 

Again we met. The whisp'ring leaves 

Danced high in light and shadow ; 
The reapers piled the yellow sheaves ; 

The bees humm'd o'er the meadow. 
The royal sun rose up in state, 

Our marriage-day adorning ; — 
The bells rang out ; wide stood the gate ; 
And neither of us was too late 

To go to church that morning \ 



f 

THOSE OTHER TIMES. 



Those other times ! those other times ! 
That dream of passion past and o'er ! 
Can other times and other climes 
Come back once more ? 
So sweet, so fair, so long gone by, 
Remember'd only with a sigh 

In my sad rhymes ! 



THOSE OTHER TIMES. 25 

Those other times ! those other times ! 

How strange and subtle are their spells ! 
Once more I hear the airy chimes 

Of village bells. 
Once more that voice so long unheard 
Whispers my name, and blends the word 
With my sad rhymes ! 



EURYDICE. 



Must these eyes no more behold thee, 

Eurydice ? 
Shall these arms no more enfold thee, 

Eurydice ? 
Alas ! in dreams I sometimes meet thee, 

As we met ere Hades' portal 
Closed between us ; and I greet thee, 



EURYDICE. 27 

Call thee mine, and deem thee mortal, 

Eurydice ! 
Call thee mine as, hand in hand, 
We wander by the well-known strand, 

Eurydice ! 
Call thee mine, and softly sing 

One of the old passionate lays. 
Touching here and there a string, 

In the pauses of my praise — 
Touching here and there a string 

Of the old God-given lute, 

While the charmed sea-bird, mute, 
Hovers on suspended wing ! 
Dreaming thus, I hear thee speak, 
Em-ydice ! 



28 EURYDIOE. 

I feel thy warm breath on my cheek, 

Eurydice ! 
I see thine eyes reflect my own, 

I kiss thy hair, I clasp thy hands, 
I mark our double shadow thrown 

Along the lengthening sands. 
I crown thee with the wild sea-flowers, 

Eurydice ! 
The happy days go by like hours, 

Eurydice 1 
Then, shelter d from the noonday heat, 
In fragrant depths of mossy caves 
Thou sleepest, and the little waves 
Steal up and kiss thy feet. 
So I woo'd thee, so I won thee, 



EURYDICE. 29 

As the evening shades were creeping 
O'er the sunshine of the raeadows, 
Euiydice 1 
Canst thou hear me call upon thee, 
Eurydice ? 
Art thou near me in my sleeping ? 
Stray no echoes of my weeping 
To the land of shadows ? 



c 2 



ANOTHER SERENADE. 

Sleep, dearest, sleep ! 

The silver moon is shining — 
Over the throbbing sea, 
The beating, passionate sea, 
Her virgin brow inclining. 
As I incline o'er thee 1 
Sleep ! sleep 1 



ANOTHER SERENADE. 31 

Sleep, dearest, sleep ! 

The world at peace is lying — 
Only the night-winds free, 
The passionate night-wdnds free. 
Around thy door are sighing, 
As I sigh for thee ! 

Sleep ! sleep ! 



MARGUEEITE. 



Mocking little Marguerite ! 
Artful little Marguerite ! 

See how she loves to tease me — 
Just now her words were soft and sweet, 

As if she meant to please me ; 
Yet, look you, if we chance to meet 



To-morrow in the village street, 



MARGUERITE. 33 

She'll be so cruelly discreet, 
Her very looks will freeze me ! 

Saucy little Marguerite ! 
Scornful little Marguerite ! 

She'll sometimes try to charm me ; 
Or else, her triumph to complete, 

With cold disdain alarm me. 
And then, with laughter wild and sweet, 
She'll taunt me with my own defeat, 
Dance round me on bright twinkling feet. 

And once again disarm me 1 

Heartless little Marguerite ! 
Faithless little Marguerite ! 



34 MAKGUERITE. 

I VOW you Ve so bewitched me 
That I am more than half inclined 
To call your very scornings kind, 
And swear that though my peace of mind 

Be stolen, you've enrich' d me ! 



LONG AGO. 



Do you remember, brother mine, 
That quaint old farmhouse on the Tyne 

Where you and I were bom — 
The gabled roofs, the gilded vanes, 
The windows with their diamond panes 

That gUtter'd to the mom ? 

And do you recollect the hill 
Behind the house ? I see it still. 



36 LONG AGO. 

All dotted o'er with sheep ; 
And, farther off, the solemn woods 
Above whose leafy solitudes 

Arose the castle keep. 

We thought an ogre gaunt and grim, 
Who long'd to tear us limb from limb, 

Dwelt in that ruin'd tow'r ; 
And bitterly we used to dread 
The gloomy journey up to bed, 

When came th' appointed hour. 

Then all the giants kilFd by Jack 
Lurk'd in the hall and dragged us back. 
Outside the parlor door — 



LONG AGO. 37 

Perchance 'twas but my skirt had caught ; 
But oh ! my horror when I thought 
Twas clutched for evermore ! 



And then, when we had said good night, 
And Janet took away the light 

And left us in our beds, 
Do you remember how we two 
Lay dumb and trembling, as we drew 

The blankets o'er our heads ? 

Then what dread fingers tried the doors. 
What stealthy footsteps trod the floors. 
What eyes glared through the gloom ! 



38 LONG AGO. 

What cracks the wainscot gave ! What hosts 
Of Afreets, Genii, Ghouls, and Ghosts 
Did people all the room ! 

Such is life's fickleness ! The fears 
That cost our youth so many tears, 

Provoke our smiles to-day ; 
And tales which then were our delight 
When read by day, became by night 

Our torture and dismay. 



THE RHINE-MAIDEN. 



TwAS in the sunny Rhineland 
As the golden day was ending ; 

The ripe grapes in the vine-land 
Were in purple clusters bending ; 

The ruin'd tower on the height 

Was glowing in the crimson light 
The western sun was lending. 



40 THE EHINE-MAIDEN. 

I saw her then — I see her yet — 
It was the first time that we met 
In the sunny Khineland ! 



I saw her standing all alone ; 

The chapel bells were ringing ; 
And, mingled with the organ's tone, 

I heard her gentle singing. 
The river ran beside her feet, 
And oh ! her voice so clear and sweet 
Seem'd like the lark's upspringing ! 
I saw her thus at close of day ; 
I gazed — and gazed my heart away, 
In the sunny Khineland ! 



THE RHINE-AUIDEN. 41 

Upon her image in the stream, 
All broken 'midst the mshes. 
She gazes in a happy dream, 

And smiles, and sighs, and blushes. 
She takes the arrow from her hair, 
And down upon her shoulders fair 
The golden shower gushes ! 

I watch'd her as I stood apart — 
That silver arrow pierced my heart. 
In the sunny Rhineland ! 



WINTER SONG. 



The wintry wind sweeps down the plain, 

The larches bend like rushes, 
The frost makes pictures on the pane, 
The torrent wears an icy chain, 

The babbling streamlet hushes. 
The silent lake is frozen o'er, 
One solid flat from shore to shore, 



WINTER SONG. 43 

Where every sledge its progress tells 
With merriment of silver bells ! 

The Boreal lights at midnight show, 

The stars above us shiver ; 
At mom, when to the chase we go. 
We see the wolf-track in the snow 

By windings of the river. 
And then, towards decUning day, 
We hasten on our homeward way 
To where yon window warms the night 
With glowings of a ruddy light ! 



TO 

♦ 

Ah, faithless ! all this winter long 
My pain has been thy pastime ! 
I loved with heart, and soul, and song — 
Thine all the sport ; mine all the. wrong . . . 
Beware 1 it is the last time. 

What though my love at times were shown 
In somewhat silent fashion, 



TO . 45 

Thou read'st it plainly — thou alone — 
In ev'ry glance, and ev'ry tone 
» That told the tale of passion ! 

'Tis now thy turn to plead in vain, 

And my turn to deny thee. 
I know thee, lady — thou would'st fain 
Thyself undo the darling chain : — 

Thou canst not. I defy thee. 

Thou know'st not what an iron will 

Despair like mine can borrow ; 
For, be it well, or be it ill, 
I feel that I must hold thee still, » 
In sin, or shame, or sorrow ! 

D 2 



46 TO . 

Yes, mine thou art and still shalt be, 

Despite thine own endeavour ; 
Nor life, nor death shall set thee free. 
And neither heav'n, nor earth, nor sea, 
Thy lot from mine shall sever ! 



MANY A TIME AND OFT. 



When the house is still, and the day is done, 

And the stars are out aloft, 
I sit by the failing fire alone. 
And think of the years that are past and gone. 
Many a time and oft. 

I dream of that village beside the sea ; 
I dream of that seat by the trysting-tree ; 
And of one who will never come back to me — 
Ah ! many a time and oft ! 



48 MANY A TIME AND OFT. 

When the city is hush'd, and the chimes are still, 

And the voice of the crowd is soft, 
My thoughts wander on at their own wdld will, 
And my tears fall fast, and my heart is chill, 
Many a time and oft. 

I dream of the hopes all faded and fled, 
Of the vow that is broken, the shaft that is sped, 
And of one to whom I for ever am dead — 
Ah ! many a time and oft ! 



TO ZULEIKA. 



Thou'rt slender as the clove, 
An unblown rose in May ! 

'Tis long since I have dared to love, 
Though silent till to-day. 

Thy heart is cold as snow ; 

Thou smilest when I sigh — 
If thou canst pity, pity now, 

And. speak before I die ! 



50 TO ZULEIKA. 

I gaze upon thine eyes 

Through all the livelong day, 

And pour my passion forth in sighs, 
And look my life away. 

The stars are not more bright ; 

The ruby lacks their glow ; 
They're deeper than the deepest night, 

And darker than the sloe ! 



Could I for one day be 
The Sultan on his throne, 

And thou a maid of low degree. 
Unfriended and alone. 



TO ZULEIKA. 51 

I'd mount my milk-white barb, 

And call my guards and band, 
And robe me in my richest garb 

To ask thee for thy hand. 

And coming thus in state 

All through the narrow street, 
I would alight before thy gate 

And kneel down at thy feet ; 

And swear by heav'n and earth 

And Allah throned above. 
That crown and pomp were nothing worth 

To me without thy love ! 



TO HASSAN. 



The tract of the desert lies weary and bare, 
The chime of the camel-bell dies on the air 

With the chant of the drover. 
The print of thy tent, and the desolate stain 
Of thy fire, my Hassan, are all that remain 

Of the dream that is over ! 



TO HASSAN. 53 

Ah, why wert thou tempted the desert to roam ? 
Of the palms and the meadows, of love and of home 

Wert thou weary, my rover ? 
Was my sunshine of youth too unclouded to last ? 
Oh, the dear yesterdays faded and past, — 

Are they all over ? 



TORRENT SONG. 

Hakk ! the ripple of the fountain 
Dancing downward in its glee, 
From its cradle in the mountain 
To its grave in yonder sea. 

Now 'tis sparkling through the meadow ; 
Now 'tis darkling through the shadow ; 



TORRENT SONG. 55 

And the golden sun is glowing 
On the streamlet in its flowing. 
And it murmurs while 'tis going 
" Come with me ! " 

Ever swifter to the ocean 

Leap the waters bright and free, 
And the music of their motion 
Charms the wild bird and the bee. 
Now they're flying down the hill-side ; 
Now they're sighing in the mill-tide ; 
And the moonbeams soft and fleeting, 
With the silver starlight meeting. 
Kiss the waves which are repeating 
" Come with me 1 " 



A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT. 



Beside this tarn, in ages gone, 

As antique legends darkly tell, 
A false, false Abbot and forty monks 

Did once in sinful plenty dwell. 

Accursed of Christ and all the saints. 

They robb'd the rich ; they robb'd the poor ; 

They quaff'd the best of Malvoisie ; 

They turn'd the hungry from their door. 



A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT. 57 

And though the nations groaned aloud, 
And famine stalk'd across the land — 

And though the noblest Christian blood 
Kedden'd the thirsty Eastern sand — 



These monks kept up their ancient state. 
Nor cared how long the troubles lasted ; 

But fed their deer, and stock'd their pond, 
And feasted when they should have fasted. 

And so it fell one Christmas Eve, 

When it was dark, and cold, and late, 

A pious knight from Palestine 

Came knocking at the convent gate. 



58 A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT. 

He rode a steed of Arab blood ; 

His helm was tip ; his mien was bold ; 
And round about his neck he wore 

A chain of Saracenic gold. 

" What ho ! good monks of Boisguilbert, 
Your guest am I to-night ! " quoth he. 

" Have you a stable for my steed ? 
A supper, and a cell for me ? " 

The Abbot laugh'd ; the friars scofF'd ; 

They fell upon that knight renown' d, 
And bore him down, and tied his hands. 

And threw him captive on the ground. 



A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT. 59 

" Sir guest ! " they cried, " your steed shall be 

Into our convent stable led ; 
And, since we have no cell to spare, 

Yourself must sleep among the dead ! " 

He mark'd them with a steadfast eye ; 

He heard them with a dauntless face ; 
He was too brave to fear to die ; 

He was too proud to sue for grace. 

They tore the chain from round his neck, 

The trophy of a gallant fight, 
Whilst o'er the black and silent tarn 

Their torches flash'd a sullen light. 



60 A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT. 

And the great pike that dwelt therein. 
All startled by the sudden glare. 

Dived down among the water-weeds. 
And darted blindly here and there. 

And one white owl that made her nest 
Up in the belfry tow r hard by, 

Flew round and round on swirling wings . 
And vanished with a ghostly cry. 

The Abbot stood upon the brink ; 

He laugh'd aloud in wicked glee ; 
He waved his torch : — '' Quick ! fling him in- 

Our fish shall feast to-night ! " said he. 



A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT. 61 

They flung him in. " Farewell ! " they cried, 
And crowded round the reedy shore. 

He gasping rose — " Till Christmas next ! '* 
He said — then sank to rise no more. 



" Till Christmas next ! " They stood and stared 

Into each other's guilty eyes ; 
Then fled within the convent gates, 

Lest they should see their victim rise. 

The fragile bubbles rose and broke ; 

The wid ning circles died away ; 
The white owl shriek'd again ; the pike 

Were left to silence and their prey. 

E 2 



62 A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT, 



A year went by. The stealthy fogs 
Crept up the hill, all dense and slow. 

And all the woods of Boisguilbert 
Lay hush'd and heavy in the snow. 

The sullen sun was red by day ; 

The nights were black ; the winds were keen ; 
And all across the frozen tarn 

The footprints of the wolf were seen. 



A LEGEND OF BOISGITILBERT. 63 

And vague foreshadowings of woe 
Beset the monks with mortal fear — 

Strange shadows through the cloister pac'd — 
Strange whispers threatened every ear — 

Strange writings started forth at dusk 

In fiery lines along the walls ; 
Strange spectres round the chapel sat, 

At midnight, in tlie sculptur d stalls. 

" Oh, father Abbot ! " cried the monks, 
" We must repent ! Our sins are great ! 

To-morrow will be Christmas Eve — 
To-morrow night may be too late ! 



64 A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT. 

'' And should the drowned dead arise "... 

The Abbot laugh'd with might and main. 
" The ice/' said he, " is three feet deep. 

He'd find it hard to rise again 1 

" But when to-morrow night is come, 
We'll say a mass to rest his soul ! " 

To-morrow came, and all day long 
The chapel bell was heard to toll. 

At eve they met to read the mass. 

Bent low was ev'ry shaven crown ; 
One trembling monk the tapers lit ; 

One held his missal upside down ; 



A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT. C5 

And when their quavering voices in 

The Dies Ivob all united, 
Even the Abbot told his beads 



And fragments of the Creed recited. 



And when but hark ! what sounds are those ? 

Is it the splitting of the ice ? 
Is it a steel-clad hand that smites 

Against the outer portal thrice ? 

Is that the tread of an armfed heel ? 

The frighten'd monks forget to pray ; 
The Abbot drops the holy book ; 

The Dies Irce dies away ; 



66 A LEGE:^rD OF BOISGUILBERT. 

And in the shadow of the door 

They see their year-gone victim stand ! 

His rusty mail drips on the floor ; 
He beckons with uplifted hand ! 

The Abbot rose. He could not choose ; 

He had no voice or strength to pray ; 
For when the mighty dead command, 

The living must perforce obey. 

The spectre-knight then gazed around 
With stony eye, and hand uprear'd. 

" Farewell," said he, '' till Christmas next ! "- 
Then knight and Abbot disappear d. 



A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT. 67 



And thus it is the place is cursed, 
And long since fallen to decay ; 

For ev'ry Christmas Eve the knight 
Came back, and took a monk away. 

Came back, while yet a blood-stain'd wretch 
The holy convent-garb profaned ; 

Came back while yet a guilty soul 
Of all those forty monks remain'd ; 



68 A LEGEND OF BOISGUILBERT. 

And still comes back to earth, — if we 
The peasants' story may believe — 

And rises from the murky tarn 
At midnight every Christmas Eve ! 



OLD MEMORIES. 



Old memories ! what spells are they 

Of sadness and delight ! 
They colour all my thoughts by day ; 

They thread my dreams by night. 
And though my hair is changing fast, 

And my eyes are almost bhnd, • 
I'm never old in that sweet past 

That lies so far behind. 



70 OLD MEMORIES. 

Old memories ! in the twilight gloom 

Like phantoms they arise I 
Old voices whisper through the room ; 

Old faces mock my eyes ; 
Old footsteps linger round my door ; 

And oh ! 'mid dreams like these 
My faded roses bloom once more . . . . 

Keep green, old memories ! 



FOR EVER. 



TvE loved thee long ; I love thee now ; 

And years have thus gone by. 
A cold and careless mistress thou — 
A silent suitor I. 

Silent no nnore ! The time has come 
When I can be no longer dumb ; 
When I must speak, or die. 



72 FOR EVER. 

The fondest and the truest heart 

I've given thee, and never 
Have dared to ask thee if thou art 
Indiffrent to the giver. 

Nay, take it, break it, 'tis thine own, 
As I am thine, and thine alone 
For ever, and for ever ! 

Yet let thine own sweet lips express 

My fate and thy decree. 
I must have either more or less, 
Wear fetters, or be free ! 

Speak, for my peace hangs on thy breath, 
And be it life, or be it death, 
111 either take from thee. 



THE STUDENT. 



Oh, lady, thou art faiy and free 

As are the heav'ns above thee ! 
A student I, of low degree, 
From lands that lie beyond the sea, 
Who yet hath dared to love thee 1 

Thou hast been taught that rank and state 
Are gifts beyond all prizing. 



74 THE STUDENT. 

The poet singing at thy gate 
Were all too lowly for thy hate, 
Too poor for thy despising. 

So proud art thou ! so angel sweet ! 

In silence I adore thee ! 
And oh ! whene'er we chance to meet, 
I stand back in the public street, 

And bare my head before thee. 

'Tis said thou soon wilt wedded be 

To one of princely birth — 
I would the bells that peal for thee 
Might toll the morrow morn for me, 
And I be laid in earth. 



THE STUDENT. 75 

What gallant party passes by 

With plumes and pennons flying — 
Thy wedding train ? Nay, then, will I 
Straight in thy path all prostrate lie ... . 
One look, love ! — I am dying ! 



RETROSPECTIVE. 



Do you mind the auld past years 

When we were young together ? 
When the present had no tears. 
And the future had no fears, 

And we pluck'd the purple heather, 

Frae the mountain side ? 
Ah ! you were but a callant, Ben, 
And I was just a lassie then, 

And thought to be your bride ! 



RETROSPECTIVE. 77 

Your step, Ben, was mair light, 

And my cheek, I know, was fairer ; 
And the stars they shone mair bright 
When the gloaming tum'd to night ; 
And the early flowers were rarer 

On the mountain side ! 
Ah ! you were but a callant, Ben, 
And I was just a lassie then, 

And thought to be your bride I 



F 2 



JOAN OF ARC. 



The hostile flag from yonder height 

Waves haughtily on high : 
Oh, Frenchmen, shall that hateful sight 
Another day — another night — 

Our royal liege defy ? 
Shall strangers offer before our shrines ? 
Shall strangers gather our golden vines ? 

Or shall the foemen die ? 



JOAN OF ARC. 79 

Charger and steed and helm prepare, 
For Frenchmen do when Frenchmen dare, 
Beneath their native sky. 

Up, knights of Anjou and Touraine ! 

Up, gallant hearts of Aquitaine ! 

The king shall be king over France again ! 

What Frenchman, vassal, serf, or knight. 

For freedom will not die ? 
At Taillebourg, in the famous fight 
'Twixt British might and Gallic right. 

Did Louis' legions fly ? 
Six feet of earth on the battle plain, 
Six feet of earth to each foeman slain. 

King Charles will not deny ! 



80 JOAN OF AEG. 

Banquet, and wreath, and bower prepare, 
Maidens ! your lovers will soon be there, 
After the victory ! 

Up, knights of Anjou and Touraine ! 

Up, gallant hearts of Aquitaine ! 

The king shall be king over France again ! 



PARTING. 



'TwAS by the rustling sallow 
That droops above the pond ; 

The plough stood in the fallow, 
On the dusky slope beyond. 

We lingered near the farmhouse door, 

With fingers fast entwined. 
While the sinking sun went down before 

And the moon rose up behind. 



82 PAKTING. 

We stood there in the quiet hour ; 

We could not say " farewell." 
Our tears dropp'd down on grass and flower, 

And glisten' d where they fell. 



Our bitter tears fell fast ; we sigh'd ; 

But ne'er a word we said. 
I wonder if the daisies died 

On which that dew was shed ? 

We parted as the crimson light 

Just faded from the west, 
When half the sky with stars was bright, 

And all the world at rest. 



PARTING. 

We parted — parted — nevermore 
In fair or stormy weather 

To meet again by sea or shore, 
Or see the sun together. 

And if I knew that sun would rise 
No more upon my sight, 

How gladly would I close my eyes 
And say my prayers to-night ! 



IMPORTUNITY. 



I've waited long enougli, Kathleen, 
The winter's fairly past ; 

The lambs are playing on the green ; 
The swallow's come at last. 

The vine is leafy round my door ; 
The blossom's on the May ; 

The waves come dancing to the shore- 
Why don't you name the day ? 



IMPORTUNITY. 85 

You know you put me oflf, Kathleen, 

Until the early spring. 
The skies are tranquil and serene ; 

The bees are on the wing ; 
The fisher spreads his little sail ; 

The mower's in the hay ; 
The primrose blossoms in the vale — 

Why don't you name the day ? 



The thrush is building in the thorn, 
Among the whisp'ring leaves ; 

The lark is busy in the corn, 
The martin 'neath the eaves. 



86 IMPORTUl^ITY. 

The little birds don't build in vain ; 

Their mates don't say them nay — 
Beware ! I may not ask again 

Why don't you name the day ? 



TO A YOUNG BRIDE, 

WITH A BOOK. 



As painters in the childlike days of art 

Oft dipt the brush in gold, and crown'd the saint. 
And patterned robe and helm in fashion quaint. 

Dwelling with patient love on ev'ry part : 

And as the weaver in that time of old 
Weaving rich arras for Imperial gifts. 
Adept in all the artificer s shifts. 

Mingled his silken threads with threads of gold : 



88 TO A YOUNG BEIDE. 

And as the monk, transcribing psalm and pray r, 
Gospel and legend, in that pious age, 
With gold and colours did adorn his page, 

Making his costly labour still more rare : 

So I, fair Bride, would have the golden thread 
Of thy young life thus with my story wrought, 
That o'er^the scenes and people of my thought 

A newer, richer brightness may be shed : — 
So would I blazon here (for mine own fame) 
The gracious consecration of thy name. 

Oct. 13, 1864. 






THE LEGEND OF THE BELL.* 



Long ago thro' Norseland roaming, 
Heard I once a Swedish rhyme ; 

Heard it, sitting in the gloaming 
Underneath a shady lime, 

Where the village elders met 

To gossip when the sun had set. 
/• 

Quaintly sung, and quaintly worded, 
Half a truth and half a myth. 



90 THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 

Thus it ran, and thus I heard it 
Chanted by the dusky smith. 
The dusky smith, all smoked and tann'd, 
Grasping his hammer in his hand, 

Anders Dag, a hardy peasant 

Born on Dalecarlian soil, 
When the spring was fair and pleasant 

Went to shoot the capercoil — 
Went, all fearless, to explore 
Forests scarcely track'd before. 

Onward through the pines and larches 
Eooted in ancestral shade, 



THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 91 

In and out the gothic arches 

Which the branching elm-trees made, 
Anders Dag went bold and free ; 
But only one wild bird found he. 

Late and long thro' glades and hollows 

Flutters far the wary game ; 
Late and long the sportsman follows, 

Swift of foot and prompt of aim. 
Flits the bird upon the wing ; 
Flies the arrow from the string. 

Flies and misses, swerves and glistens 
In the light of parting day ! 



92 THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 

Hark ! the baffled marksman listens 

Breathless, and forgets his prey. 
For yonder, in the tangled dell. 
He hears the tinkling of a bell 1 

Tinkling faintly, dying slowly 
On the breathless evening air ; 

Rung, perchance, by hermit holy, 
Kneeling at his vesper pray'r ! 

" Now, Mary mother, shield me well," 

Saith Anders Dag, " I'll find the bell ! " 

Plunging in the thicket straightway, 
On he went, and sign'd the cross. 



THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 93 

Finding soon a ruin'd gateway 

And a chapel green with moss. 
So green, so lone, so overgrown 
That it seem'd scarcely built of stone. 

Nature, labouring to cancel 

All the finger-prints of art. 
Had planted saplings in the chancel, 

Torn the sculptured screen apart, 
Eent the fretted roof away. 
And left all open to the day. 

In the aisles the gi*ass was growing ; 
Birds were building in the walls ; 

G 2 



94 THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 

And the wild white bine was blowing 
In the woodwork of the stalls. 

And lo ! where once the anthems rang, 
Only the little thrushes sang ! 

Only the thrushes. Not a token, 

Howsoever slight, to tell 
That the silence had been broken 

By the clamour of a bell ! 
Still, o'er every inch of ground 
The sportsman sought, but nothing found. 

Till at length, beneath the blinding 
Veil of ivy everywhere, 



THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 95 

Traced he something like the winding 

Fragment of a broken stair — 
Something Hke a shattered tower, 
Shrouded in a leafy bower. 

Then, the knotted branches rending 
Limb from limb, and spray from spray. 

Slowly, step by step ascending, 
Up that toVr he forced his way. 

Forced his way, and found the bell. 

And found his arrow there as well ! 

There his arrow lay, half buried 
In the dust of ages gone, 



96 THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 

And the sunset through the serried 

Ivy foliage faintly shone ; 
Beam and rafter half revealing, 
All the rest in gloom concealing. 



Last year's drifted leaves were lying 

Rotting on the dusty floor. 
And the startled bats were flying 

Round and round, and o'er and o'er ; 
Whilst overhead, with silent tongue 
The bell in shroud of cobwebs hung. 

There it hung, a little higher 
Than the level of the light. 



THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 97 

Silent, like a hooded friar 

At a penitential rite ; 
Pulseless as the heart at rest 
In a dead man's quiet breast 



Wakeful once at eve and matin, 
Still it bore an ancient rhyme 

Scrolled in mediaeval Latin, 
Latin of the monkish time : — 

" DeFUNCTUS PLORO : CONGREGO CLERUM : 

Pestem fugo : Laudo Deum verum/' 

Lines which in a free translation 

Mean — " We weep for those who die : 



98 THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 

Call to pi^ayers the congregation : 

Plague and pestilence defy ; 
And (so runs the pious phrase) 
We the only true God praise!' 



Such its warning to the people 
When in olden days it rung, 

That lone prophet of the steeple. 
Praise and pity on its tongue. 

Now, alas ! its work was done. 

And its hearers' race was run. 



Where of old a wealthy village 
Waim with life and labour stood. 



THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 

Where the earth to skilful tillage 

Yielded ample store of food, 
Now, alas ! on every side 
Spread the forest dense and wide. 

All the young and happy hearted. 
Just and loving, true and brave, 

Wise and pious, had departed 
To that home beyond the grave 

Where no sins or sorrows dwell — 

" Defunctus ploro," saith the belL 

Like a flash of intuition, 
Anders Dag all suddenly 



100 THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 

Caird to mind an old tradition, 

Heard in earliest infancy, 
When the fireside tale went round, 
And the snow lay on the ground. 



How some Eastern ship, deserted 
By her crew in time of yore. 

From her course by storms diverted. 
Drifted to the Swedish shore : 

Rich her freight in silk and spice, 

And tapestries of rare device. 

Never yet did fierce invader 
Bring such woe upon the land 



THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 101 

As that oriental trader 

Wreck'd upon the Swedish strand ; 
For upon that fatal bark 
Plague and Death had set their mark. 

Soon the dreaded poison flying, 
All unseen, from town to town, 

Fiird the land with dead and dying, 
Struck both prince and peasant down, 

Swept whole villages away, 

And slew its thousands night and day. 

Rusted then in fort and furrow 
Gun and plough for service meet ; 



102 THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 

Silent then the busy borough ; 

Green with grass the public street ; 
Closed the mart ; unmann'd the walls ; 
And empty all the convent halls. 

Even here, so ran the story, 
Where the giants of the wood 

Interlaced their branches hoary, 
Once a happy hamlet stood, 

Circled round with fence and field, 

Buttressed wall, and planted weald. 

But the Plague one fatal morning 
Like an armed foe came down ; 



THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 103 

Came without one sign of warning ; 
Set his death-mark on the town ; 
Poison'd all the summer air, 
And fill'd each household with despair. 

Soon, alas ! to every dwelling 
Had the black infection spread ; 

Soon the chapel-bell was knelling, 
Knelling hourly for the dead. 

Till the place was all bereft, 

And no living soul was left. 

Anders Dag, flush'd with compassion. 
Thinking all this legend o'er, 



104 THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 

Smote the bell in angry fashion, 
Crying — " Silence, evermore 1 
False thy tongue, and vain thy spell ! " 
" Pestem fugo ! " said the bell. 



" Yet," thought he, " it is not given 
Unto simple men like me. 

All the wondrous ways of Heaven 
With our earthly eyes to see ! 

What God willeth must be well." 

" Laudo Deum ! " said the bell. 

" Thro' the forest dark and lonely 
Not by chance my feel were led — 



THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 105 

Not by chance these ruins only 

Keep strange record of the dead ! 
God's great purpose who shall tell ? " 
"Laudo Deum!" said the belL 



TEANSLATIONS. 



THE LEAF AND THE BREEZE.^ 

FROM THE FBENCH OF AENAULT. 



Parted from thy native bough, 
Whither, whither goest thou. 

Leaflet frail ! 
From the oak tree where I grew 

In the vale ; 
From the woods all wet with dew 
Lo ! the wind hath torn me ! 

H 2 



110 THE LEAF ANJ) THE BREEZE. 

Over hill and plain he flew, 

And hither he hath borne me. 
With him wandering for aye, 

Until he forsakes me, * 

I with many others stray, 

Heedless where he takes me : — 
Where the leaf of laurel goes, 
And the leaflet of the rose. 



FLOWER AND BUD. 

ALTERED FROM THE FRENCH. 



As I wander'd through the meadow. 
Half in light and half in shadow, 

All among the feeding kine, 
I beheld at evening hour 
A trembling flow'r, a drooping flow'r, 

A faded flow'r of Eo:lantine. 



112 FLOWER AND BUD. 

Near it danced a blossom fair, 
Just open'd to the evening air, 

All diamonded with dew. 
'Tis thus, thought I, we pass away, 
And in our children, day by day. 

Our faded youth renew. 



CRUEL SPRINGTIME. 

ADAPTED FROM BERANGER. 



From my window every morning 

I have seen her at her own ; 
I watch'd her all the winter through, 

And (each to each unknown) 
We leam'd to love in silence 

With a love beyond compare, 
And our kisses, interchanging, 

Cross'd each other in the air. 



114 CRUEL SPRINGTIME. 

The lindens planted all between 

Were leafless, every tree, 
And we saw throngh their bare branches. 

All that either cared to see ; 
But now the foliage intervenes 

To hide that window dear — 
Ah, cruely cruel Springtime ! 

Wilt thou come with ev'ry year ? 

Immur'd behind the leafy screen 

That shadows all my door, 
I sit and sigh, because I see 

That angel face no more ; 
That angel whom I first beheld, 

All radiant as the May, 



CRUEL SPRINGTIME. 115 

Casting bread-crumbs to the sparrows 

One bleak and snowy day. 
She fed them, and they sang for joy 

All down the wintry grove ; 
And the season for their mating gave 

The signal for our love. 
Ah, lovely snow ! the summer sun 

Brings nothing half so dear — 
Thou ci*uel, cruel Springtime ! 

Must thou come with ev'ry year ? 

Ah, cruel Springtime ! but for thee 

Yon branches would disclose 
My darling's face each happy mom 

She rises from repose, 



116 CRUEL SPEINGTIME. 

More blooming than the poets paint 

Aurora on her way 
Across the golden skies, to draw 

The curtains of the day. 
. And but for thee my loving eyes 

Might still be daily blest ; 
And still each evening I might say 

" My star is gone to rest. 
Her lamp expires — perchance she sleeps ! " 

Ah, wherefore art thou here, 
Thou cruel, cruel Springtime ! 

Must thou come with ev'ry year ? 

I pray the winter soon may come, 
The summer soon be o'er ; 



CRUEL SPRINGTIME. 117 

I long to see the fallen snow ; 

I long to hear once more 
The merry bounding of the hail, 

And the music of the rain 
As it glides in rapid streamlets 

O'er the smooth sonorous pane ! 
Thine ancient empire, cruel Spring, 

From me shall win no praise ; 
What care I for thy zephjrrs bland, 

Thy long and garish days ? 
Thy blossoms are not worth the smiles 

I miss when thou art here — 
Ah, cruel, cruel Springtime ! 

Must thou come with evVy year ? 



NOTES. 



Note 1. 
THE LEGEND OF THE BELL. 

This ballad is founded on the following extract from 
Fryxell's " History of Sweden " (translated by Mrs. Howitt), 
vol. i., p. 259 : — 

" At this period a terrible pestilence had commenced to 
spread itself over the known world. In Sweden it was 
called the Diger Death, that is, the Great Death. It came 
from India, and in 1318 made such ravages in the South of 
Europe, that barely a third of the population survived. A 
continual south wind brought thick and damp vapours with 
it ; the air was never cleared by storms and rain, and oft- 
repeated earthquakes and signs in the air boded a great 
convulsion in nature. This plague attacked man and beast 
alike, but the young died most. In 1349 a ship, on board 
of which no living creature was found, was driven towards 
Bergen on the coast of Norway. The citizens thoughtlessly 
unloaded the vessel, which, being infected by the plague. 



122 NOTES. 

spread the malady with alarming rapidity, which ravaged 
both Sweden and Norway during the year 1350. No family 
and no rank escaped ; whole parishes perished. In West 
Gothland four hundred and sixty-six priests died, and the 
King's two half-brothers fell victims to it. In the mining 
districts of Wermland one man and two girls alone survived, 
and many and many a mile divided the nearest neighbours. 
After this devastation wide tracts of land fell to the crown 
for want of heirs, and other districts became a wilderness 
which the wood soon covered ; so that even yet, in the 
centre of deep forests, remains of houses and fields which 
have been forgotten from that time are occasionally dis- 
covered. It once happened, long after the Diger Death, 
that a peasant in Eksparish went out one morning in spring 
to shoot the capercoil in a thick wood. As he missed the 
bird, he went to seek his arrow, which had fallen, as he 
thought, on a high moss-covered rock ; but when the peasant 
reached the place, he found it was a church, which had 
remained forgotten and forsaken, and was buried in trees." 

This plague was known through Europe as the Black 
Death. 



NOTES. 123 



Note 2. 
THE LEAF AND THE BREEZE. 

This graceful little fable, of which a metrical translation 
is attempted in the foregoing pages, has been already done 
into English by Lord Macaulay, and into Italian by Giacomo 
Leopardi. We append the French original and the two 
versions above-named. 



A. V. ARNAULT. 

Fable 16, Livre V. 

— De ta tige detachee, 
Pauvre feuille dessechee, 
0^ vas-tu ? — Je n'en sais rien. 
L'orage a frapp6 le chene 
Qui seul etait mon soutien. 
De son inconstante haleine, 
Le zephyr ou I'aquilon 
Depuis ce jour me promene 

I 



m -NOTES, 



De la foret a la plaine, 
De la montagne au vallon. 
Je vais ou le vent me mene, 
Sans me plaindre ou m'eifrayer ; 
Je vais o^ va toute chose, 
Oil va la fenille de rose 
Et la feuille de laurier. 



IMITAZIONE 

Da Giacomo Leopaedi. 

— Ltmgi dal proprio ramo, 

Povera foglia frale, 

Dove vai tu ? — Dal f aggio , 

L^ dov' io nacqui mi divise il vento. 

Esso, tomando, a volo 

Dal bosco alia campagna, 

Dalla valle mi porta alia montagna. 

Seco perpetuamente 

Vo pellegrina, e tntto V altro ignoro ; 

Vo dove ogni altra cosa ; 

Dove naturalmente, 

Va la foglia di rosa, 

E la foglia d' alloro. 



NOTES. 125 

* 

TRANSLATION 

By Lord Macaulay. 

Thou poor leaf, so sear and frail, 
Sport of every wanton gale, 
Whence, and whither, dost thou fly. 
Through this bl^ak autumnal sky ? 
On a noble oak I grew, 
Green, and broad, and fair to view ; 
But the monarch of the shade 
By the tempest low was laid. 
From that time, I wander o'er 
Wood and valley, hill and moor, 
Wheresoe'er the wind is blowing, 
Nothing caring, nothing knoTS-ing : 
Thither go I, whither goes 
Glory's laurel, Beauty's rose. 



BRADBURY AND EVANS, PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS. 



YC158850